I came into the kitchen to write this morning and found my poor little laptop buzzing noisily. Somehow it had overheated and was letting me know in no uncertain terms it was in pain. It is willing to shoulder its responsibilities again now – I think. We shall see! In any case, my time is now short and I will write in haste…
My mother did not cry often. I think, in the almost-seventeen years I lived at home, I saw her weep twice. The third time she cried was long after this.
I was visiting her with Andrew and Tim. We were chatting, hanging around, enjoying each other when she suddenly began to sob.
“Mom, Mom, what’s wrong?”
“I was just thinking about my father and missing him. It is so hard to know I will never see him again.”
Mom was not a Christian. She was a stubborn, feisty, shrewd (and very lovable) unbeliever.
There were many tense years after my conversion. She was, of course, wary and hostile toward my new understanding of the universe. For years and years I tried to explain the gospel to her, win her sympathy toward this ‘new’ biblical perspective.
She would have none of it.
Finally, shortly before she died, there was a breakthrough. Was it one that actually won her to Christ? I don’t know. All I know is that she had some eureka moments for the first time.
How did this come about?
I trapped her. With her own background.
Mom had been the organist in her small town United church (similar to United Methodist) for many years. Consequently, she knew hymns well.
I simply began to recite and apply their words as testimony that what I believed was not new at all – rather, what she had grown up with, and then taught us.
I will give just one, quick ‘for instance’ – the simplest one of all: Jesus Loves Me.
That is a powerful little song.
Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so…The authority of the Bible is cited first thing.
Little ones to him belong. They are weak but he is strong…Human nature is defined as inadequate.
Jesus loves me he who died, heaven’s gate to open wide.
He will wash away my sin, let his little child come in…..God’s own solution to the above. Grace. His works, not ours.
Jesus loves me, he will stay close beside me all the way.
When at last I come to die, he will take me home on high…Our future hope. The ultimate goal of our existence.
When I presented these truths as part of her own heritage, Mom listened. For the first time.
How I hope this knowledge became saving truth in her mind and heart.
But only eternity will tell.